The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge discussion

Valley of the Dolls
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Book Discussions > Valley of the Dolls

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message 1: by Amaka (new)

Amaka Nzeadibe August read

Colleen (miniguinea73) Hooray! I love this book.

message 3: by Stephanie (new) - added it

Stephanie Johnson | 299 comments Ive never read it. I was kind of hoping for something I had already read so I can finish Madame Bovary.
I will join, but maybe later in the month.

Jenny6703 | 3 comments Hi, I’m new to the group. Just joined in time for the new challenge. I’ve already reserved my copy from the library and can’t wait to start this weekend!

Elba (elbamaria) | 99 comments I am excited to join in. I have never read Valley of the Dolls.

Frau Spätzle (soenne) | 145 comments Mod
I had never even heard of this book until it was voted as our August read - but I'm really looking forward to reading it! I'm still a bit behind with the group reads, so I might not start with Valley of Dolls right at the beginning of August, but I will catch up eventually. :)

Windy | 44 comments My library is having to transfer this one in from another library, so it might be a while before I can get started. I'm going into this one pretty blind, so it should be interesting.

Cathrine | 14 comments I just ordered the book from Bookdepository to be sent to my new address... I won't be moved in there before the 7th of August, so I'm hoping I get there before the book. I think it's supposed to take 4-8 days once it's shipped in a few days so I'm hoping it will be fine. Maybe it's in my post box when I get there...

message 9: by The Annotated (new)

The Annotated | 25 comments Wow August is here and with it a book I wanted to read for ages.

message 10: by Jane (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jane | 49 comments Mod
I would like to join as well. So we just read the book and then write a "review" of it here? Sorry for asking, I read "How it works" but could not find an explanation there how the Book Discussions work. Point me in the right direction, if I missed it :D

message 11: by Amaka (new)

Amaka Nzeadibe Hello everybody!
My name is Amaka, (pronounced uh-mah-ka in case you were wondering) and I'm really excited to be the discussion leader for this month. I'm even more excited about this book. Every so often, I'll do a little research into a novel's background, this book falling into one of such category. I'm excited to see if this book hold up to its trashy, pulp fiction claim!
It's fine regardless of when you start, I just hope that everyone who wants to join, joins in, even if that day is August 31st.
And to Jane.Bennet, the discussions go as this has for the past few posts. The book is announced as is its mod, then those who want to join chime in, and the mod asks questions, as frequently of infrequently as they want to.

message 12: by Jane (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jane | 49 comments Mod
Thank you, Amaka :) Can't wait to start!

message 13: by Stephanie (new) - added it

Stephanie Johnson | 299 comments So, I have requested the book at my library. It looks like I might have to wait awhile for it. I've never read this one either...

message 14: by Jane (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jane | 49 comments Mod
Im at about 30% already. Its not exciting so far, but I like the characters and its easy to read :) How are you guys doing so far?

Frau Spätzle (soenne) | 145 comments Mod
So, I finished the book last night - I just couldn't stop. I'm not a big fan of the plot and I really dislike most of the characters, but I think this book is extremely well written and the character portrayals are on point.
I will hold back my opinion on the development of events till the end of the month as I don't want to spoiler you all. ;)
That being said, I really found it funny that one of the characters is called Gillmore and even wondered if that's were the writers got the Gilmore's name.

message 16: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Sönne wrote: "So, I finished the book last night - I just couldn't stop. I'm not a big fan of the plot and I really dislike most of the characters, but I think this book is extremely well written and the charact..."

Hi Sönne

I also noticed a character called Gilmore which is mentioned in Rosemary's baby (and S1 Ep1) which I thought was too much of a coincidence.


Jenny6703 | 3 comments I just finished the first section about Anne. This girl is seriously stressing me out because I worry she’s going to lose it all...just so naive. We’ll see how the rest of the stories come together.
The only background info I had for this book was that it was considered very risqué at its debut. I can only imagine how all the sex talk went over in the 60s.

message 18: by Amaka (new)

Amaka Nzeadibe Hi Everybody!
Sorry for the radio silence, but it seems to be that the majority have at least finished with the Anne section.
General question, hows it going so far?
Any standout characters? It seems like I'm not the only one stressed over Anne.
I, even as a women who doesn't see marriage as a big 'to-do', still wanted Anne to just settle for Allen. It just seemed so impractical for her to continue on for her love quest; or maybe I'd had rooted for her more if she didn't pine for Lyon so much.
Anyhoo, lets discuss more as we forge ahead!
P.S., this book was touted as something scandalous. Either I'm jaded or I haven't read far enough, but I don't see what's so naughty about the book.

Celine | 9 comments Hello. I came across this review from 2016 which helped me understand the context a bit more:

Jenny6703 | 3 comments SPOILERS

Ok so I finished. After a slow start, I couldn't read the last half fast enough (which is usually how I tackle books anyway). As much as I enjoyed reading how the story unfolds, I was disappointed by the ending. Not that I necessarily thought it was poorly constructed, I just wanted better for Anne. Of course, Lyon's behavior wasn't out of character. But I expected more from him after he talked about only wanting Anne for the past 15 years. So he finally gets her back and immediately doesn't care that much anymore? Typical.

I was mostly pissed at Neely. What a back stabber. I genuinely liked her the most (oh Geez), even if she was the most caricature. After reading that she was supposed to be Judy Garland, I was pretty impressed that Judy was able to swallow her literary demise enough to want to be in the picture and, ironically, display the same supposed poor behavior to get herself kicked out.

Jennifer's end was sad but seemed inevitable. To me, she was the least important character of the 3 and, therefore, most dispensable.

What are your thoughts?

message 21: by Jane (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jane | 49 comments Mod
SPOILERS - only read when you finished the book!!! 

Thank you for the article, Celine! I really liked the quote from Brooke Hauser "Valley of the Dolls is a very angry book (…) It showed the ugly, seedy side of womanhood. It showed what happens when women age and lose their beauty and what kind of double standard exists in society". I think that is absolutely true. By the end I got so angry reading. I got angry at Neely, how could she be so ungrateful? At the beginning I was really annoyed by Anne. I dont think she should have just setteled with Allen, I dont think a woman should settle for a man she does not love, but I wish she had some balls to say and do what she wants. Instead she was just somehow "going with the flow" always trying to avoid any kind of conflict and please everyone. The first 40% of the book is just Anne and her naivety. I was surprised and releaved when I saw that the perspective changed to Jennifer after those (not bad but quite boring) 40% of the book. I really liked Jennifer, I think she was the most likeable character in the book. Her downfall was, that she believed that she was nothing without her looks, even though she was very kind and seemed to be a good person. I really appreciated Anne naming her child after Jennifer.
Lets talk about Neely, the character that made me very angry. I think her character development was on point, it was drastic but still very believable. I think what happened to Neely could really happen to anyone (maybe not that extreme, but who knows). I never liked Lyon Burke, I dont think he loved Anne for a second, so I think the cheating does fit his character, since I do not think he really longed for Anne those 15 years, that they were apart. But well, I think that is up to the reader. I felt so much pity for Anne by the end of the book. Yes, she was naive, but she did not deserve what Lyon and Neely and Allen and Kevin (bloody Kevin!!!) did to her. I dont know, I would have punched them all and ended up at the funny farm. What else can I say, I really liked the book! I am excited to see the movie, even though Jaqueline Susann did not like it, I am excited for the actors, especially for Sharon Tate, who played Jennifer. Did any of you see the movie? Any opinions, comparisons? Sorry for spelling mistakes, english is my second language :)

Celine | 9 comments Hey Jane. I think it shows how women's expectations and opportunities have evolved in the last 60 or 70 years. I think in the first part of the book Anne complies to what she thinks is expected of her (no crying in public, please everyone) while she also shows some signs of rebellion (leaving her hometown, wanting to work).

Apparently the character of Neely is based on Judy Garland's real life. I watched the movie and I find Anne much more likeable in the movie. I enjoyed the movie but I can see why the author did not: the personalities of the characters are a bit different.

message 23: by Tati (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tati Stepanovitch | 2 comments I started reading this about two weeks ago. I thought I wouldn't finish in time, but I'm almost through! It's a great read, can't wait to discuss it and see what you all thought of it.

message 24: by Stephanie (new) - added it

Stephanie Johnson | 299 comments So my copy is in transit to the library. Looks like I will be reading it in September. But thats fine since Ive already read eat,pray,love anyways. I didnt like it so I wont be rereading it.

Rebecca (becstokes) | 38 comments I've just finished Valley of the Dolls! 5 STARS! This has been one of those books that I have had on a pedestal for YEARS! I have lots of these books, ones that I know instinctively that I will LOVE, so I almost save them for special occasions, look at them longingly, then don't read them. It's so dumb. I want to read them at the perfect time, so I'm not distracted... I then read everything else but!
Fun thing - so many of the RGRC books are books that I've had on a pedestal! I'm FINALLY reading them!
After a slow start (which others also seemed to experience), this book lived up to the hype. I loved the characters and the storyline kept me guessing. I gasped out loud several times! Jennifer was my favourite character. She also fancied Lyon (ugh!) but didn't act on it. Such a beautiful tragedy.
Looking forward to finally watching the movie now! :)

message 26: by Amaka (new)

Amaka Nzeadibe Im so glad you love it Rebecca!

message 27: by Stephanie (new) - added it

Stephanie Johnson | 299 comments I am hoping I can get to this one when we do it for a re-read. I just couldn't get to it with my vacation and other life stuff. I'm sure I have some company on that hardship sometimes. Maybe when we circle back around to it I will post here about my thoughts.

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